My original beginning for this blog piece was going to be something along the lines of ‘it’s summer, isn’t it lovely when the sun shines, let’s think about effective communication over the summer’. Then 2 nights ago we had an extremely heavy rain and thunder storm where I live – the garage flooded, the porch roof sprung a leak, water was cascading through and suddenly I don’t feel quite so sunny anymore!
I recently read a book called Bring Me Sunshine by Charlie Connelly. It was a fascinating book all about the weather and the history of mankind’s developing understanding of what weather is, how it forms, how to predict it and so on. Whilst there have been some fantastic discoveries and advancements in knowledge over the centuries, there is still much that we don’t know. I would thoroughly recommend the book.
Whilst it is a cliché that British people always talk about the weather, like many clichés it is very much true. I have a personal theory that one of the reasons for that is the sheer amount of weather we get – if I lived in a country where there was hot sunshine every day, I’m sure I would soon get bored of talking about it. But since the weather in the UK varies from week to week and even from day to day, if gives us lots to discuss.
There is also a reassuring comfort to talking about the weather, particularly with people we don’t know very well. It is something that connects us – we all live underneath it, for a start. The weather is something we can be delighted about or grumble about, safe in the knowledge that there is nothing we can do to change it (climate change apart). Even when we find that others have a different view to us – we might be a sun-worshipper, for example, while our neighbour is counting down the days until the winter – we can express surprise, but still know that the context for the conversation remains the same.
Anyway, whether the sun is shining or the rain is pouring, we are coming up to peak summer holiday season for most UK-based organisations. This provides a range of challenges for internal communicators – things may quieten down, but organisations do keep going over the summer. If you are an internal communicator who is putting together your comms planner for the summer, you might find helpful these tips that I wrote a few years ago:
I will be going away for a few weeks over the summer, but I have a colleague minding the fort while I’m away, so do get in touch if we can help. If you’re off somewhere yourself, I hope you have a fantastic time!
Until next time